Aside from perhaps No Time to Die, it feels like no film has so embodied the cascading affects of the pandemic on the film industry as much as Jason Reitman’s Ghostbusters: Afterlife, which was originally intended for release more than a year ago, in the summer of 2020. Pushed back on at least three occasions, and currently scheduled for its theatrical release on Nov. 11, 2021, the film has simply been pushed out of the cultural consciousness on multiple occasions, as Ghostbusters fans have been asked to simply postpone their hype, enthusiasm or derision (as is so commonly the blend) until a later date. With the release of a new, full-length trailer, however, Sony’s hype machine is finally revving back to life again, just like the revived Ecto-1.
This new Ghostbusters: Afterlife trailer gives us our best look at the film’s characters yet, including Carrie Coon, Finn Wolfhard and Mckenna Grace as Callie, Trevor and Phoebe Spengler, the daughter and grandchildren of Harold Ramis’ original Ghostbusters character Egon. The film sees the Spengler clan relocating to a sleepy looking farm town in Oklahoma, living in a farmhouse owned by Egon that turns out to be not what it appears. It seems that the plot is connected with occultist Ivo Shandor, who Ghostbusters fans will recall was the same man who designed the Manhattan skyrise in the first film that acted as a portal for the interdimensional being known as Gozer. Could we see another attempt here at bring “the Goze” into our world? It certainly looks like it, and a plot that hews closely to the original Ghostbusters wouldn’t be terribly surprising given the vitriolic (and somewhat unfair) reaction to the female-fronted Ghostbusters film from a few years back.
On a more elemental level, however, this footage from Afterlife looks like a loving, nostalgia-fueled trip back to familiar territory, which isn’t a terrible thing. Several familiar faces make appearances, including the original team via archival footage, and even Annie Potts as the beloved Janine Melnitz. The trailer ends, in fact, by teasing the participation of none other than Dan Aykroyd, aka Dr. Ray Stantz, who seems to have finally gotten that occult shop he talked about opening in Ghostbusters 2. Aykroyd had written many versions of a proper Ghostbusters 3 over the years, so his participation isn’t terribly surprising. What will be interesting is to see how Ernie Hudson and Bill Murray might appear in Afterlife as well.
Here’s hoping that we actually see the film hit theaters in November this time. Check out the full trailer below.